ECONOMIC Front leader Wynter Kabimba says President Hakainde Hichilema doesn’t seem to know what his responsibilities are, arguing that by visiting ministries, it shows that he wants to do the job of his ministers and PSs himself.
Speaking when he visited the Ministry of Health, Thursday, President Hichilema said it should be normal to see him conducting random visits to various Ministries as this is a way of improving service delivery.
But in an interview, Kabimba said Frederick Chiluba also tried to do the same but he failed.
“These visitations that he has started to ministries, we saw it under Chiluba. It failed. So there is nothing new that he is doing. He is doing something that we have seen in the past and Chiluba failed lamentably. Because if the President has time to go and visit a ministry, according to him to get the situation on the ground, then it means there is no system in place. Then it means he doesn’t know what his responsibilities are as Head of State. Then it means he wants to do the job of ministers and permanent secretaries himself. I want to repeat myself, we saw this under Chiluba and it never worked and it shall not work under HH. So the sooner he realises what his job is, what his duties are as Head of State, the better for this country,” he said.
Kabimba said the President’s visit to the Ministry of Health was to launder himself so that he could emerge as the only one who was concerned about the welfare of the people.
“Mr Hakainde promised this nation that he was going to give us the best cabinet, he promised us that he was going to give us the best of everything. That’s what he said from his own mouth. So if now he is projecting an impression that in order for a ministry or a minister to work, he himself must visit that ministry to go and micromanage the administration of that ministry, it means that he himself in the appointments he made, he is an incompetent administrator himself. So it doesn’t reflect badly on the minister in my view, it reflects badly on him as the appointing authority against the promises that he made that he was going to give us the best cabinet. This drug situation which prompted him to go to the Ministry of Health yesterday (Thursday) did not arise in a day. It is something that has been going on for months, and he knows the reason. The reason is that they have terminated all the contracts of the previous drug suppliers under PF, under the pretext that the drug supply chain was flawed with corruption,” he said.
“So they terminate those contracts and they don’t have plan B, which led to the shortage of drugs in hospitals, in the clinics and all health centers. So my view is that his visit to the Ministry of Health was to launder himself and pass the buck to his minister and her staff so that he emerges as the only one who is concerned about the welfare of the people and, not his ministry staff. So he is a selfish man, he would rather sacrifice his minister and project himself to the public that he himself is the only one that is concerned about the welfare of the people of this country. And yet he is the one who is a poor leader, he is the one who is an an incompetent leader. Because the ministers can only be as good as the appointing authority. So if the ministers are bad, if the ministers are incompetent, then it means the appointing authority in the name of the President is bad, it means the appointing authority in the name of the president is incompetent.”
Meanwhile, Kabimba urged UPND to formulate sector policies to guide ministers and technocrats.
“UPND must sit down and formulate sector policies, first thing. The policies cannot be held by the President alone, they can not be pronounced by the President alone. There must be [a] clearly spelt out document which tells us, or which guides the ministers and the technocrats the policy framework for each sector. There must be a clear separation between policymakers in the name of the ministers and policy implementers in the name of technocrats, the PS and the team. There must be a clear divide so that if a policy goes wrong in terms of implementation, then the technocrats can refer that policy back to the policymakers for review,” said Kabimba.